There’s a lot of stuff that i’ve seen going on lately with people saying that social media is ‘evil’. As far as i can tell, this has all stemmed from Essena O’neil. I’ve been watching her on youtube for a few months and i do like her, this post is definitely not to slander her since i definitely can understand and respect her views of social media. It is very easy to get sucked into how ‘perfect’ other peoples lives appear to be but i want to discuss the idea of if social media is actually ‘evil’.
First of all, yes, its fake. No matter how ‘real’ people are, a huge percentage of what you see of a person online is fake entirely because its online. Everyone is guilty of it, be that on Facebook or instagram, twitter or tumblr. No one puts the rubbish parts of their life online for the world to see. I know that personally, i’ll upload lots of photos onto instagram of me and my boyfriend smiling and laughing and having lots of fun but i would never put up a picture of us arguing or crying. Does that mean that our relationship is perfect? God no, no ones is. Does that mean that it looks perfect on social media? Yes. Definitely. If you look at my social media without knowing me or my boyfriend in person it definitely looks like we have the perfect relationship of fancy nights out and cosy nights in when in reality most of our time together consists of pizza and netflix.
Continuing on, its very, very easy to get sucked into the bad parts of social media, especially if you already have issues with things like mental health or low self esteem. When i was between the ages of twelve and seventeen i often frequented websites that made me feel terrible, sites that promoted things like eating disorders and self harm. The internet can be a dangerous place, especially for those who don’t realise how fake it all is. When i was a teenager struggling with hating myself and my body, those stick thin girls seemed glamorous and happy, so thin any guy would want them. Now i see someone who is ill and obviously not happy. Do you see my point here? I hope so.
Now, i’m not saying that Essena is weak/stupid/naive etc. for being sucked into this, thats the exact opposite of what i’m saying. What i’m saying here is that we are the first online generation. We have everything at our fingertips from music to videos to sites that can be detrimental. We’re surrounded by people who are intentionally fake but tricking us into believing they are oh so ‘real’ and ‘honest’ and its almost impossible to step back and realise whats going on. Teenagers are going through the things every teenager goes through including having to realise that we don’t actually know the people we look up to, the difference for this generation is that due to the internet, we are tricked into thinking that we know them. For the first time, we know these peoples families. We see what they had for breakfast, the outfit they’re wearing and even their skin care routines. They let us in to the point where its difficult to keep in mind that despite seeing their every day lives, we’re actually only seeing a few minutes of their full 24 hours.
So, is social media evil? I don’t think so. I love social media, its an incredible platform for people to step up to and as someone striving for a creative career doing what i love, its an incredible free platform that is provided to me. I think everyone should be weary of social media, we all need to bear in mind what it really is and i definitely think doing a day or two every week where all social media is avoided is good for you but i also think everyone has to make their own decision on if social media is something they want to be involved in. Social media can be good or bad depending on how its utilised and in my opinion, all the controversy that has been kicked up over this is a good thing because it helps to wake people up to what social media is-its people putting their best foot forward and showing you the best side of themselves.
What are your opinions on this? I’d love to hear them down below.